Tell Secretary Chu: Not with Our Money
The Department of Energy is considering risking billions of taxpayer dollars on loan guarantees for construction of new EPR nuclear reactors. One of these reactors--Calvert Cliffs-3 on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland--is reportedly on DOE's "shortlist" to receive such loan guarantees. Other EPR reactors have been proposed in New York (Nine Mile Point-3); Pennsylvania (Bell Bend) and Missouri (Callaway). Yet nuclear regulators in France, Finland, and the United Kingdom in November released an unprecedented joint statement complaining of serious safety deficiencies in the EPR design, which is manfactured by the French firm Areva.
Meanwhile, cost estimates for the EPR are skyrocketing. Calvert Cliffs-3 is estimated by the company at around $10 billion--not counting financing costs. Bell Bend has a company estimate of $13-15 billion. And problems with construction of an EPR in Finland continue to mount, with more than 3,000 construction deficiencies revealed over the past four years. That project is now 3 1/2 years behind schedule and 75% over-budget.
Twenty-two environmental organizations in Maryland, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan joined forces and wrote a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu and the congressional delegations of those states on December 2, 2009. Join us by supporting this letter and urging the Department of Energy to suspend consideration of loan guarantees for EPR reactors, at least until known safety deficiencies have been addressed and cost estimates are proven not to provide unacceptable risk for taxpayers. Your letter will go to Secretary Chu, officials at the Loan Guarantee Program, and the members of your Congressional delegation.
As always, you are free to edit the letter below to reflect your own concerns.